The negotiations between Dutch universities and publisher Elsevier over the Big Deal* and better terms for open access publishing have come to a halt. In November 2013, the Dutch State Secretary for education, culture and science declared his policy for open access. After this, the VSNU (association of universities in the Netherlands) joined the Dutch libraries and the Royal Library (UKB) in their negotiations with the publishers. This week Elsevier presented a proposal without any concessions with regards to Open Access for the Big Deal, unlike several other publishers. The VSNU and the UKB are only willing to continue the Big Deal with Elsevier when they take steps towards Open Access Publishing.
I for one will be very interested how this plays out. Libraries in other countries have threatened to discontinue the Big Deals several times (see here), but they rarely go through with it. With the addition of the Open Access demands ánd the VSNU at our side, the stakes have gotten even higher.
Onderhandelingen tussen Elsevier en universiteiten vastgelopen (in Dutch. News from the VSNU site)
Wetenschap ligt overhoop met uitgever Elsevier (Dutch News)
Open Access: Going for Gold (speech Dutch State Secretary, in English)
Negotiations between Elsevier and Dutch Universities break down: Time for change (blogpost Daniel Lakens)
*With the Big Deal, libraries are asked not to subscribe to a publisher’s journals on a title-by-title basis, but to a pre-determined bundle of electronic journals, which they have to commit to for several years. The most frequently heard problems with the Big Deals are that you’re also paying for journals that you do not really want, and the 5-7% rise in costs every time the contract is renewed.